US Youth Soccer National League 2019-20 Season Preview: 16U Boys
With the 2019-2020 US Youth Soccer National League season kicking off this month, we take a look ahead at the competition with an in-depth preview of each age group.
In this edition, find out what’s in store for the 16U Boys.
PA Dominion 04 Boys (EPA) did nearly everything except claim the US Youth Soccer National Championship in 2019. The Eastern PA side came up one win short of that feat, leaving it motivated as the team looks to defend its National League title in this season’s 16U Boys Black Division. PA Dominion has displayed plenty of ability, as it won the Black Division last season to go along with a first-place finish in the US Youth Soccer Mid Atlantic EDP Conference Premier I Division (9-0-0 record). In the summer, PA Dominion also won the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championship before making its deep run at Nationals.
Another team that is entering the season after strong performances in multiple competitions is PPA KSA 04 Pro-Profile (GA). KSA won the Premier I Division in the US Youth Soccer Piedmont Conference to go along with a third-place finish in the Black Division last season. It followed that league success by claiming the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championship — winning all six of its matches in Baton Rouge, La. KSA took PA Dominion to overtime in the semifinals at Nationals before dropping the match, but it should be ready for a rematch during its Black Division campaign this season.
PDA Hibernian Modric (NJ) had league success of its own, as it won the Club vs. Club Division of the US Youth Soccer South Atlantic EDP Conference with a 7-1-0 record. Meanwhile, JB Marine (MO) is coming off a first-place finish in the US Youth Soccer Midwest Conference Premier I Division. That experience in league formats should make both sides teams to watch during Black Division action.
Nearly every team in the 16U Boys Blue Division earned top finishes in league play last season or made deep runs at their respective Regional Championships. Highlighting the field is Nationals Union Black (MI), which won the Blue Division last year and finished first in the US Youth Soccer Great Lakes Conference Premier I Division. Having strung together results in multiple league formats, Nationals knows what is required to finish near the top of the Blue Division standings.
Soccer Stars United Galaxy 2004 (NY-E) joined Nationals Union at the National Championships, and the Eastern New York side will look to return to that stage by winning the Blue Division. To qualify for Nationals last season, the Galaxy began by winning the US Youth Soccer North Atlantic EDP Conference Premier I Division. It then advanced to Nationals as the Eastern Regional representative by finishing as the runner-up at the tournament in West Virginia. The experience gained competing against the top teams in its region and in the country should prove beneficial as the Stars compete in the Blue Division.
With a first-place finish in the US Youth Soccer Northwest Conference, Sound FC B04A (WA) will be another team to watch this season. The Washington side won all six of its conference matches, as it netted 21 goals while conceding just four.
Several other teams in the Blue Division advanced to the semifinals of their Regional Championships, while SLSG Elite 04 Boys (MO) made a run to the Midwest Regional Championships final match. The Missouri side fell in overtime of that game, so it should be excited at having another shot to qualify for Nationals when it begins National League play.
The 16U Boys Red Division will feature several experienced teams fighting for the top spot in the standings and the accompanying berth to the National Championships that comes with it. Last season, Oklahoma Energy FC 04 Boys Central (OK) managed to do just that, as it finished first in the Red Division by outscoring its opponents, 11-to-4. Oklahoma had strong showings in the US Youth Soccer Frontier Conference and Southern Regional Championships, and it will look to continue that trend during this National League season.
Another team that is looking to pick up where it left off a season ago is Downtown LVSC 04 Gold (NV). The Nevada side won the US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championship to go along with a first-place finish in the US Youth Soccer Desert Conference. Downtown LVSC won its group at Nationals but dropped a close semifinal match to the eventual National Champion, so it should be focused on earning a berth back to that stage through a first-place finish in the Red Division.
PSA National 04 Boys (NJ) won the Mid Atlantic EDP Conference Club vs. Club Division with a perfect 7-0-0 record, and it advanced to the semifinals of the Eastern Regional Championships before falling to the eventual Regional Champ and National Finalist. Meanwhile, CFJ 2004 Premier (IL) and Midwest United FC 04 Royal (MI) each dropped one-goal games in the Midwest Regional Championship semifinals. After coming close to advancing to Nationals, each of those three teams should be anxious for another chance to earn a berth to Nationals through the National League.
Look no further than defending division winner and 2019 National Champion Real Jersey FC 2004 Boys (NJ) when examining favorites in the 16U Boys White Division. The New Jersey side won the White Division last season by going unbeaten in its five games. At Nationals, it overcame a loss to begin group play and reeled off four straight wins to claim the National title. It beat two National League division winners during its title run, so Real Jersey has shown on multiple levels that it can compete with any team in the country.
Coming from a club with a history of National League success, Raiders FC 2004 (IL) will look to add its own accomplishment by winning the White Division. The Illinois side is entering the season after winning the Midwest Regional Championship in Saginaw, Mich., where it made a habit of winning tight games. Raiders FC’s first four wins in Michigan came by just one goal, and it won the title game in overtime. The ability to find ways to win close games could prove valuable during the National League season.
A pair of teams — VHSC 04 Black (AL) and FRAM 04 Chovkovy (CA-S) — each gained success in both league and tournament formats last season. VHSC won the US Youth Soccer Mid South Conference and advanced to the final match at the Southern Regional Championships. FRAM had a very similar resume, as it finished on top of its division in the US Youth Soccer Pacific Conference before advancing to the final of the Far West Regional Championships. Meanwhile, Potomac SA Blue 04 (MD) won the Premier I Division of the South Atlantic EDP Conference, which adds yet another team that has shown the ability to excel in league play formats.
- Milton Jones (Real Jersey) – Golden Ball, Best XI and leading scorer (five goals) at the National Championships
- Marco Antonio Valencia (Raiders FC) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Dillon Barbeiri (PA Dominion) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Andrew Kitch (Real Jersey) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Christian Leon (Raiders FC) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Jackson Boreham (Oklahoma Energy) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Shane Velez (PA Dominion) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Ty Bleiler (PA Dominion) – Golden Glove, Best XI at the National Championships
- Michael Michalak (PA Dominion) – Tied for leading scorer at the Eastern Regional Championships with five goals
- Nicholas Cassiday (Midwest United FC) – Leading scorer at the Midwest Regional Championships with six goals
2019 US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Interregional – 2004 Roster
East Region – Connor Braun (Arlington SA)
Midwest Region – Nicholas Cassiday (Midwest United), Kaden Smith, Sean Stenger (JB Marine)
South Region – Gabe Russo, Nathan Tozzi (VHSC)
West Region – Anthony Godinez Orozco, Carter Keyes, Gabe Stevens (United PDX); Paul Kim, Owen Knecht, Mark Martinez-Rios (Sparta Premier)
2019 US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Interregional – 2005 Roster
West Region – Atticus Jones (Players Elite)